As Jesus wrapped up His upper room discourse on the night He was betrayed, He explained that what He had told the disciples was intended to give them peace. But then in the very next sentence, with no transition or explanation, Jesus told them they would have suffering in the world. If we only see peace as a tranquil stream, this makes no sense. But if we understand peace as more than that—as the peace Christ gives us within us, with others, and with God—then reconciling these two ideas is no problem. Peace from the Lord and suffering for the Lord are not mutually exclusive. For as we suffer on His behalf, we can know we are following His example and that our pain, as real as it is, is being used for His glory and purposes.
This is what fuels our inner peace. But then, as Jesus wrapped up this idea, He explained another way that peace and suffering work together: As we suffer in the world, we can know that one day all such suffering will end. Jesus has won, and one day when He returns, He will make all things new. That is our future hope because we have been given peace with God our Father through the suffering of Jesus Christ.
What can you do now to prepare your mind and heart to remember the Lord’s peace the next time you experience suffering?